This post WAS going to be about my new Lindybop ‘Marla’ dress, which I tracked down on Amazon over Christmas (The green version is hard to find, but the black is available here), and how its arrival last week resulted in me ending up with a Lindybop wish list as long as both my arms. (Suffice it to say that this was my first purchase from this particular brand, but it definitely wont be the last. By which I mean, “I’ve already bought another one, and you’ll be seeing it soon.” Ahem.)
That was before The Drama, though. Because yes, leave it to me to turn the simple act of wearing a dress into the kind of performance that’s normally accompanied by a Greek chorus, and a couple of drumrolls, at the very least. < insert heavy sigh here >
The dress was actually only a bit player in this drama, though. The real star of the show was the small green brooch, which you can just see clinging onto my collar in the last of the three photos above. Let the fact that this brooch doesn’t appear in any of the other photos in this post provide all the foreshadowing necessary for you to go and pour yourself a stiff drink before reading the rest. I certainly had one while I was writing it, after all…
The brooch wasn’t a valuable one: it was just a piece of costume jewellery, probably worth very little. It had, however, belonged to my grandmother, so it had enough sentimental value for me to be pretty upset when I realised it was missing.
I didn’t notice it was gone until I looked back at the photos. We’d come home, and I’d taken off the dress and gotten changed into my dog-walking uniform. (I realise this might spoil whatever illusions you might have about me, but not even I wear Louboutins and a petticoat to tramp across muddy fields with the dog…) Then Terry volunteered to walk the dog instead, so I switched on the kettle, and started flicking through the photos on the camera.
“Hmm,” I thought, looking at the first few photos, in which the brooch could be seen, kind of dangling from the collar of my dress. “That brooch looks a bit weird in these: almost like it’s about to fall off!”
Almost instantly, my heart fell. I’d just taken off the dress… but I hadn’t taken off the brooch: or not that I could remember, anyway. Willing myself to remain calm, I scrolled forward through the camera roll, zooming in on my collar in each picture. Sure enough, after those first few shots, the brooch was nowhere to be seen.
I checked the dress anyway, just to be sure. Then I checked my jewellery box. I knew I wouldn’t find it, though – if it wasn’t in the photos, that meant it hadn’t come home with me. Unless…
I went back to the camera and flicked through the photos again. We’d actually taken them at two different locations, very close to one another. The ones we’d shot at the first location hadn’t worked out, so we’d jumped back into the car and driven around the corner to take some more. When I looked back at them, I could see that the brooch was in all of the photos from the first location, but not in any of the ones from the second. This was good news, because it meant the brooch was probably in the car, having been knocked off my dress while I was fastening my seatbelt or something.
I put on my shoes and ran out to the car, which I searched so thoroughly the neighbours probably thought I was looking for drugs.
The brooch wasn’t there.
I went back into the house, trying not to cry. If it had been one of my own brooches, it wouldn’t really have mattered (Or maybe it would have, actually. I mean, you all know how annoyed I get when I lose something, don’t you?) But the fact that this particular brooch had belonged to my gran, and had been entrusted to me by my mum, meant it had a ton of sentimental value, and I just couldn’t stand the thought that it had been passed down through two generations of my family, only for the representative of the third generation to lose it while taking photos for her stupid fashion blog.
When my mum gave me the brooch, she told me – as she tells me any time she gives me anything, actually – not to be upset if I ever lost or broke it. (It’s like she KNEW, isn’t it? I WONDER WHY SHE THOUGHT I MIGHT NEED THIS ADVICE?) “They’re just things,” she said, in the manner of the wise woman in a movie, “they’re not people. And you always have your memories, which no one can ever take away from you.” Then she started telling me something about how “J-Law” had broken up with Chris Martin, and I stopped paying attention. But I think I know what she was trying to tell me.
What my mum was trying to tell me, of course, was that objects don’t really matter, and that it’s silly to attach so much sentimental value to them. I don’t need a brooch in order to remember my gran: she’s always there, in my head. (My mum was ALSO telling me that she never though Jennifer and Chris would last, but that has nothing to do with this particular story…) She was talking to the girl who once refused to throw out a used tube of toothpaste, though (I was, like, five at the time, in my defence. I still understand the logic, though…), and she was also talking to the girl who has an entire category on her blog called ‘Things I Lost‘. I’m pretty much a lost cause with this stuff. I have the ability to attach sentimental value to just about anything, so you can probably imagine how upset I was when I realised I’d lost something that had ACTUAL sentimental value, can’t you?
(I’m really hoping you answered ‘yes’ to that, by the way, or you’re going to find this post pretty stupid, and want to remind me that there are children dying in Africa while I’m crying over a piece of costume jewellery, boo hoo!)
Well, obviously I had to return to the scene of the crime to search for it, and obviously Terry had to come too, to help. (Also Rubin, but he wasn’t much help, if I’m honest.) We had to leave RIGHTTHATVERYSECOND, because the sun was about to go down (and also because I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I didn’t search for the brooch immediately), and then we had to sit for 40 minutes in traffic, while the light leaked out of the sky, and I imagined my poor little brooch, lying twinkling in the dying light, in some muddy puddle somewhere. It was a tense time, to be sure.
Finally, we were on our way. The location we’d taken the photos in was a quiet spot, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Nevertheless, as we reached the turn-off for it, we saw a busload of people pulling away from the very spot I suspected I’d dropped the brooch, followed by a large van.
“Someone will have taken it!” I said, bravely suppressing the urge to jump out of the car and attempt to search the bus. “Or driven over it! Or…”
“Shut up, Amber,” said Terry, not unkindly. “We’ll find it.”
It didn’t seem likely, though. We went to the second location first: I remembered getting out of the car and running for a few paces to get to the designed photo spot (Yes, in THOSE heels.), and I suspected that might have been what dislodged the brooch. I was hoping we’d pull into the parking area, and instantly see it, glittering on the ground. Instead, we saw three SUVs full of people, who all watched in fascination as Terry and I got out and started to scour the ground, me using my phone as a torch. (It actually wasn’t totally dark at that point: it just made me feel more like I was in Scooby Doo or something…)
We didn’t find it.
“It’s GONE!” I wailed, as we got back into the car. “Someone has definitely taken it! I will never, ever see it again! HOW WILL I TELL MY MUM?!”
Terry ignored me, and drove the short distance to the first place we’d taken photos that day. He stopped the car, we both got out… and within seconds, Terry was calling me over, and pointing at the ground where we’d parked. “I’ve found it!” he shouted.
And he had.
It was right where I’d been standing before I got back into the car, and unfortunately, someone (possibly even us) had driven over it, bending the casing, and making most of the stones pop out. It was bashed and broken… but it was there, and that was the main thing.
We scoured the ground around it, and managed to find all the stones. It was handed over to my dad the next day, and that evening he sent me this photo:
There are a couple of stones missing, but those were always missing, as far as I can remember, so while it’s still a little buckled, it is at least in one piece again, which I think is a pretty good result considering it was run over at least once.
There’s always been a part of me that tells me not to wear the things I love most, just in case I lose them. (And knowing me, I probably WILL.) There’s a larger part, however, which argues that beautiful possessions are completely worthless unless you use them, and love them and enjoy them. So that’s what I do. I don’t think it would make my gran happy to think I just kept her brooch in my jewellery box, and never let it see the light of day, after all. “Never worry about THINGS,” my mum told me again when I saw her on Saturday. “Things don’t really matter”
Then again, my mum IS the one who tried to throw out The Goodie Bowl, so maybe I should take that with a pinch of salt…
WEARING: Lindybop Marla dress , Christian Loyboutin shoes, eBay petticoat